The Washington Post's editorial board said Friday that it will refrain from use of the word "redskins" to refer to the NFL team located in the nation's capital.
"While we wait for the National Football League to catch up with thoughtful opinion and common decency, we have decided that, except when it is essential for clarity or effect, we will no longer use the slur ourselves," the board explained in a released statement.
Several opinions on both sides have adamantly stated their case for and against the use of the term. Supporters claim that the name is a term of endearment for Native Americans with a long-standing football tradition.
"It's so much [expletive] it's incredible. We're going to let the liberals of the world run this world. It was said out of reverence, out of pride to the American Indian," said Mike Ditka during an interview with RedskinsHistorian.com. "Even though it was called a Redskins, what are you going to call them, a Brownskin? This is so stupid it's appalling, and I hope that owner keeps fighting for it and never changes it, because the Redskins are part of an American football history, and it should never be anything but the Washington Redskins. That's the way it is."
People against the word say the term is a racial slur and should not be casually used during a sporting event. One person who agreed with this sentiment was Mike Carey, a NFL referee who has not officiated a game by the Washington Redskins in eight years since formally requesting not to do so.
"I know that if a team had a derogatory name for African Americans, I would help those who helped extinguish that name," said Carey during an interview with the Washington Post. "I have quite a few friends who are Native Americans. And even if I didn't have Native American friends, the name of the team is disrespectful."
On June 18, 2014, the trademark for the Washington Redskins was canceled by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office because a sizeable percentage of the Native American population believe the term is disparaging. The full 99-page decision can be read here.
Oxford Dictionary and Merriam Webster list "redskin" as an offensive term for Native Americans. Although its origin is often debated, the word existed long before American football, and was rarely, if ever, used in a complimentary manner towards Native Americans. The debate will continue in public forums, but Dan Snyder, owner of the Washington Redskins, has stated on many occasions that he has no desire to change the name of the franchise.